Duration of the second stage of labor in multiparous women: maternal and neonatal outcomes

Yvonne W. Cheng, Linda M. Hopkins, Russell K. Laros, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was undertaken to examine perinatal outcomes associated with the second stage of labor in multiparous women. Study Design: This is a retrospective cohort study of all term, cephalic, singleton births delivered by multiparous women between1991 and 2001. Duration of the second stage of labor was stratified into hourly intervals: 0-1 hour, 1-2 hours, 2-3 hours, and 3 hours or longer. Perinatal outcomes were analyzed by using χ2 test and multivariable logistic regression models, by using P<.05 and 95% CI to indicate statistical significance. Results: Compared with women who delivered between the 0- and 2- hour interval, women with a second stage more than 3 hours had higher risks of operative vaginal deliveries (odds ratio = 13.27; 95% CI [9.38-18.8]), cesarean deliveries (odds ratio = 6.00; [4.06-8.86]), and maternal morbidity including third- or fourth-degree perineal lacerations, postpartum hemorrhage, and chorioamnionitis. Their neonates had higher risks of 5-minute Apgar score less than 7 (odds ratio = 3.63; 95% CI[1.77-7.43]), meconium stained amniotic fluid (odds ratio = 1.44; 95% CI [1.07-1.94]), admission to intensive care nursery (odds ratio = 2.08; 95% CI [1.15-3.77]), composite neonatal morbidity (odds ratio = 1.85; 95% CI [1.23-2.77]), and longer neonatal stay in the hospital (odds ratio = 1.67; 95% CI [1.11-2.51]). Conclusion: Multiparous women with a second stage of 3 hours or greater are at increased risks for operative deliveries, peripartum morbidity, and undesirable neonatal outcomes. These outcomes should be considered in the management of multiparous women with a second stage of labor beyond 3 hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585.e1-585.e6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • multiparous women
  • perinatal complications
  • prolonged
  • second stage of labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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